Riedel Crystal – Elegance & Extravagance
Riedel Crystal is a 300 year-old family owned company known for its creation and development of varietal-specific stemware.
Riedel Crystal was the first in history to recognise that the taste of a beverage is affected by the shape of the vessel from which it is consumed, and it has been recognised for its revolutionary designs complementing alcoholic beverages and other drinks.
Riedel Veritas Series – wine glasses in a 21st century interpretation
Georg Riedel (owner of Riedel Crystal) challenged his Weiden factory Chief Engineer Franz Schmid, and his world class technicians, to execute, in crystal, the finest and lightest machine blown glasses ever made. The Weiden factory, located in Bavaria Germany and one of four manufacturing plants owned by Riedel Crystal, was briefed that, not only should the Riedel Veritas range be visually stunning and a delight to hold, but should also be price competitive against hand made products from low cost manufacturing countries.
The spectacular result is Riedel Veritas. A glass collection 15% taller than Vinum (Riedel’s first machine made line introduced in 1986) but 25% lighter and finer, whilst maintaining dishwasher safety, break
resistance and being suitable for long term daily use at home (and even to be introduced into stressful on-premise service).
Riedel’s technicians accomplished their task with excellence, creating a wine glass collection for the 21st century – a machine-blown crystal glass of unsurpassed thinness and lightness, manufactured utilising the very latest techniques developed by the Weiden factory team.
Georg Riedel, 10th generation glassmaker, says about the creation: “Riedel Veritas combines the charm of a handmade glass with the consistent accuracy only a machine made glass can achieve.”
The Riedel Veritas bowls are based on the DNA of grape varietals, which differentiate each other by the skin thickness and colour, the amount of tannins, sugar content, intensity of acidity and minerality. Drawing on 60 years of wine experience and expertise, the light, balanced and elegant glasses of the new Riedel Veritas collection are first and foremost ‘tools’ designed to enhance the enjoyment of fine wines.
The series includes glasses for Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Riesling and Viognier. For the first time in a Riedel collection there are two glasses for Syrah and for Pinot Noir – in each case for Old World and New World styles.
Another first for the collection is the Champagne Wine Glass. The name reflects the fact that the glass is very different from a conventional flute style: “The name Champagne Wine Glass was chosen carefully and deliberately,” says Maximilian Riedel, CEO of Riedel Crystal.
“Champagne is a wine and deserves to be treated as such. Whether enjoying a Blanc de Blanc or a Cuvée, the Champagne Wine Glass allows the wide range of aromas of Champagne to unfold. The larger rim diameter enables the scent of the Champagne to be released, in a way which is not possible with a narrow flute. The glass also includes a ‘sparkling point’ to aid the formation of the Champagne bubbles – effervescence being an important part of the Champagne experience.”
The range is sold via www.riedel.co.uk and through Riedel’s extensive retail network in boxes of two glasses.
Riedel are well known for their elegant and extravagantly designed decanters. Georg Riedel states: “Glassware deals with physics and decanters deal with chemistry.”
Two decanters released this year showcase the extraordinary and functional designs of Riedel’s decanters. The Evechen decanter is a diminutive version of the Eve decanter that was originally designed by Maximilian J. Riedel in 2009. Reminiscent of a snake, Eve recalled – not unintentionally – the Seduction in Paradise. Demonstrating Riedel’s pioneering role in design and functionality, Eve was the first hand-made decanter with a dual-chamber role. This double-decanting feature ensures the wine is perfectly aerated whilst also served in the right quantity. Riedel was awarded a patent for this in May 2009.
With this in mind Riedel created the Evechen decanter, a smaller but no less seductive and functional variant of the successful Eve decanter. Handformed and mouth blown by glassblowers in Riedel’s factory in Tyrol, Evechen’s compact dimensions allow it to be easily stored away. Rotated once on its own axis, wine flows through the first chamber undergoing optimum aeration before the ideal quantity reaches the second chamber. This makes the act of serving wine easy as well adding to the wine tasting experience.
“I have long been fascinated by organic shapes and the flow of glass, and enjoy the creative and technical challenge of incorporating snakes into my designs,” comments Maximilian. “Of course, it does help that serpentine shapes facilitate ‘double-decanting’, the science I’ve been proud to develop for
Like Riedel’s many other coiled decanters including the Eve, Mamba, Boa, and Titano Boa, the Evechen decanter doubledecants wine, a technology developed by Riedel to accelerate the aeration of wine by the creation of a vacuum within the vessel. The rotation of the Evechen on its axis brings wines to full flavour profile potential when decanted.
Appropriately named Bacchus after the Roman god of wine, the hand-formed golden horn decanter design, transposes the classic mythology into yet another top class wine tool. Designed by Maximilian J. Riedel, 11th-generation Riedel Crystal CEO, the Bacchus is freely mouth-blown and proves extremely skillful to create. This precise craftsmanship of the glassblowers in Riedel’s Tyrol located-factory is what turns Maximilian’s creations into reality. The resulting Bacchus design fluently decants wine whilst also being an object of art, maintaining the Riedel philosophy that form follows function.
Both decanters are priced at £495 and available from www.riedel.co.uk.
Since its founding in 1756 and its pioneering of varietal-specific stemware beginning in 1958, Riedel has become the brand of choice for wine connoisseurs, hospitality professionals, and consumers worldwide. Riedel glassware is distributed worldwide and can be readily found at retailers and fine dining destinations.
This article first appeared in the Northcote Magazine 2015/2016.